Dr. Lorraine Walker, Dean Alexa Stuifbergen and Dr. King Davis

Mission & Aims


The mission of the St. David’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations is to improve the health of underserved people through applied research.


  • Maintain and enhance the St. David’s CHPR within the School of Nursing.
  • Improve the health of underserved people through theory driven, efficient and culturally competent health promotion/disease prevention research based interventions.
  • Develop and refine interventions and analytic methods along the continuum of health promotion/disease prevention to meet the needs of underserved populations.
  • Expand interdisciplinary investigative teams studying health promotion and/or disease prevention.
  • Disseminate and translate methods and findings on health promotion and disease prevention in underserved populations to scientists, clinicians, policymakers and consumers.
  • Explore the application of emerging technologies to promote health and decrease health disparities in underserved populations.

Background Information

  • The Healthy People initiative identifies goals for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 focuses on factors that contribute to health disparities including personal health behaviors, health care access, and social determinants of health. The overarching goals of Healthy People 2020 are to attain higher quality of life, achieve health equity for all groups, and create social and physical environments that promote good health across the lifespan.
  • The National Institutes of Nursing Research (NINR) came into being as a result of federal studies recognizing that nursing research was relevant to the mission of the National Institute of Health (NIH).
  • The CHPR was one of 10 core centers developed with two consecutive P30 grants from NINR/NIH (1999-2011).
  • By geographic size and population density, Texas is the second largest state in the US with a highly diverse population (est. 27 million) composed of 38.8% Hispanics, 43% non-Hispanic whites (white), 12.5% African Americans, 4.7% Asians, and 0.1% American Indians and Alaska Natives (Texas State Census, 2015). Furthermore, the age distribution in Texas is bimodal with two demographic peaks: Texas is the third most populous state with older adults (65+ years) and it is also among the youngest states, ranking eighth on the list of states with the highest percentages of young adults and children (Aging in Texas, 2016). White residents make up 70% of the over 65 population, whereas the under 18 population is nearly 50% Hispanic. There is a great need to focus on health promotion and disease prevention efforts among underserved populations in our communities to meet the goals of Healthy People 2020.